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The Stained Glass - A Scene In-Between 1965-1967 (2013) review


The Stained Glass "A Scene In-Between 1965-1967" (Ace Records/Big Beat, 2013)

Another long-anticipated collection and part of the ongoing "Nuggets From the Golden State" series is this, an excellent reappraissal of the works done by San Jose-based mid-sixties outfit The Stained Glass.
We're fortunate too that expert compiler and chronicler Alec Palao saw to it that some of the earlier material - recorded while the group were still operating under the name The Trolls - has also been included. Two of the best items from that juncture, the unmissable 'Walkin' Shoes' - a tough-sounding 1966 garage r&b style original written by prolific bass player Jim McPherson, and also the chimingly cool tones of 'No Rhyme Or Reason', penned by the group's rhythm guitarist and early group figurehead, Roger Hedge, will have you craving more.
There was certainly no shortage of convincingly strong material available for the group to work up, impress their fanbase within the live club setting and, ultimately, to then lay down for posterity in the recording studio. So it really is wholly surprising when, after the group changed their name to The Stained Glass and inked a record deal with the mighty RCA empire in the autumn of '66, they didn't become the high-charting success and genuine household name that they ought to have been. In particular, two selections that I believe would've been more than ripe for slaughtering the national charts with; to go head to head with some of the period's main contenders at the very least, are the wonderfully realised 'My Buddy Sin', with its baroque-infected leanings - somewhat reminiscent of what the Left Banke were doing over on the other coast - tumbling folk-rock encapsulations and McPherson's highly imaginative lyrical twists - vocalised too with conviction and panache by drummer Dennis Carrasco. Surely this here gem deserved to be Top of the Pops!  The woozily atmospheric title track, 'A Scene In-Between', also showed that the 'Glass was a group whose collective ear had been tuned-in to the hip and happening changes afoot in the pop world, and was capable of producing their own fascinating, highly effective aural mini-movie akin to some of those amazingly weird-sounding pre-Pepper Beatles songs!
If you've not yet had the pleasure, ladies and gentlemen, may I suggest that you now pop out and score a copy of this while still available, and then add to the list of San Jose greats - Count V, Syndicate of Sound, and the Chocolate Watch Band - The Trolls, and, especially, The Stained Glass. Listen with open ears and attentive mind, I trust you will not be disappointed!

Review made by Lenny Helsing/2014
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